Saturday, December 19, 2015

187 Signs

Signs, signs, everywhere signs... A film about apostasy that just happens to be set in the midst of an alien invasion, M. Night Shyalaman's Signs explores the importance of belief systems and the human brain's need to create constructs via pattern recognition. Mel Gibson, the mad genius bastards that he is, delivers one of his best performances as the recently faithless Reverend Hess. An exercise in less is more, Signs brings tension to the table sorely lacking in current films. M.Night shouldn't be dismissed due to his recent bombs, and here he's firing on all cylinders.  

Download: 187 Signs

Wednesday, December 16, 2015

186 Sixteen Candles

Matt and Mark continue the John Hughes theme this week with the first of the Ringwald trilogy films, Sixteen Candles. A product of the 80's, the character of Jake portrayed here should no more be the focus of teenage girl wish fulfillment than a drunken frat berserker armed with roofies and the tenderness of a Viking war chief. But back then, things were different. Matt and Mark agree that the true "hero" of the film and focus of most of the action is Farmer Ted. A freshmen with a motor, he provides the late night hilarity and action while the passive Samantha merely laments her predicament and falls asleep before midnight.

Download: 186 Sixteen Candles

Monday, December 7, 2015

185 Planes,Trains and Automobiles

A little late for Thanksgiving, we offer up our review of the John Hughes holiday classic Planes, Trains and Automobiles. Matt coughs up a few anecdotes regarding his experience with the modern marvel we know as domestic air travel, while Mark picks apart the turkey carcass of Neil Paige's fairy tale domesticity, complete with the awaiting water-eyed angelic housewife and the immaculate oven, complete with a photogenic 25 lb butterball.

Download:  185 Planes, Trains and Automobiles

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

184 Willy Wonka and The Chocolate Factory

Ending the "For the Kids..." movie review marathon this week, we give our spin on the classic Willy Wonka and The Chocolate Factory. Matt stumbles trying to offer up his take on the titular character, while Mark cuts to the chase and sizes up Willy as an entrepreneur akin to Silicon Valley monomaniacs like Musk, Jobs, Bezos, and Gates. Paranoid and zealous, Willy lives a hermetic world where those who don't share his vision of a candy utopia are not to be trusted and tested. Meant to be a wholesome family musical, Willy Wonka is more dark comedy with a cutting wit and little regard for handling kids with kid gloves.

Download: 184 Willy Wonka and The Chocolate Factory

Sunday, November 15, 2015

183 Transformers The Movie

This week we review Transformers The Movie, a result of the 80's high concept marketing campaign for the toy industry. Back in the day, Matt and Mark used to watch after school half hour advertisements for Mattel and Kenner in the form of Transformers and the like. Wasted Youth? Who knows. Mark laments dragging his mother to see the film twice while Matt decries the resurgent recycling of 80's toy culture. Is Transformers a good film? Hard to say really. Like wandering minstrels of the Medieval Era, its hard to put oneself in the shoes of the audience to gain any kind of appreciation, but it may be safe to admit, it wasn't all it was cracked up to be. Unless you're Michael Bay of course, then you'll hump it forever.

Download: 183 Transformers The Movie

Monday, November 9, 2015

182 The Neverending Story

Matt and Mark's "For the Kids" movie review marathon continues with our take on the 1984 classic The Neverending Story. The world of Fantasia is being destroyed by The Nothing, a metaphor for the grinding gray of adulthood and diminished imagination. At least that's the way Matt saw the film, where The Nothing's werewolf agent Gmork is nothing more than a stand in for any HR manager in a nameless multi-national corporation. A film with astonishing classic affects, Mark points out the brilliance of it's set pieces and characters while rattling off the whose-who of its talented credit list. Also, it can be agreed that Atreyu is one of the more metal names to come from a children's story (take that Veruca Salt!).

Download: 182 The Neverending Story

Tuesday, November 3, 2015

181 Watership Down

Matt and Mark's "For the Kids" marathon continues this week with the "family" adventure film Watership Down, a famed animated production from Britain released in 1978. Despite Matt's decades long ignorance regarding the film's name (It's a place? What? Not some esoteric reference to societal downfall?), we try to suss out what's great about this film. With realistic depictions of violence and a naturalist style, it marginalizes the familiar animated tropes of Disney-esque anthropomorphism, elevating it to something greater. And why a film about rabbits? Because there's perhaps a universal truth to be told from creatures who must fear everything, a justified dread that taps into our vestigial brains and perhaps a reason so many children remember this film.

Download:  181 Watership Down

Tuesday, October 27, 2015

180 Return to Oz

Matt and Mark's "For the Kids" movie review marathon continues this week with our take on the 1985 box office misfire "Return to Oz". Lacking in the thematic elements of its uber-famous predecessor, it does expand the Oz universe, drinking from the well of the original Baum children's novels. However, it's creep factor, complete with ruined Yellow Brick Road, Munchkin Holocaust, and Chernobyl-style post apocalypse of the once great Emerald City could really only be redeemed by another tranch of ten or so Disney princess movies. So, do an Elton John and say "goodbye Yellow Brick Road", or do a Bowie, and "put on your red shoes and dance the blues."

Download: 180 Return to Oz

Monday, October 19, 2015

179 Ponyo

Matt and Mark's "For the Kids..." movie review marathon continues with the beloved Miyazaki's last film, Ponyo. A film that is beautiful to watch, it teases out what is best in anime: the ability to create emotion with the warmth of hand drawn animation. Matt and Mark contrast the style with out current CGI fair and marvel at the imagery. Pivoting on themes of separation, Ponyo welcomes all ages and entertains all. If you don't enjoy Ponyo, Mark and Matt are pretty sure you must be dead behind the eyes and a cold-hearted psychopath.

Download: 179 Ponyo

Monday, October 12, 2015

178 Labyrinth

Kicking off the "For the Kids..." movie review marathon, we start with the 1986 Henson classic Labyrinth. A little weary from our hard-partying weekend, Matt and Mark ramble a bit with our review as we attempt to bond with our inner child. Matt gets nostalgic for his adolescent Jennifer Connelly crush while Mark expresses his disappointment in the film's cliched violent climax and odd mix of tone. But what ties this movie together? Like a cat from Japan, well hung with a snow white tan... Bowie... Bowie in all his scrotal glory.

Download: 178 Labyrinth

Sunday, October 4, 2015

177 Beyond the Black Rainbow

Taking the better parts of earlier films (and perhaps lesser films), Director Cosmatos manages to conjure the atmospheric and menacing Beyond the Black Rainbow. Taking New Age psychedelic notions of transcendence to their limits, the denizens of the Arboria institute attempt enlightenment with a concoction of drugs and a black pool of sensory goo. Half liking/half hating the film, Matt derides its cliched and uncharacteristic end, while Mark is more sympathetic. Anyway, give it a watch and dare to hit the mother lode!

Download: 177 Beyond the Black Rainbow

Monday, September 28, 2015

176 Fantastic Planet

An animated French film from 1973, this week Matt and Mark review the cultish Fantastic Planet (aka The Savage Planet). A beautifully animated film, it questions humanity's preeminent position in the universe by depicting us as lesser things, specifically vermin. As the playthings and pests of greater aliens, humans (or Omes as depicted in the film) face a type of indifference which can only be described as cruelty. But just like the bugs or bacteria of our current Post-Halocene epoch, the worm eventually turns, and the meek inherit the Earth, or perhaps the Fantastic Planet.

Download: 176 Fantastic Planet 

Tuesday, September 22, 2015

175 Angel Heart

Mark continues taking listener requests. This week on the Cult we review the Mickey-in-his-prime Angel Heart, released in 1987. A neo-noir Southern Gothic of sorts, it follows the gumshoe detective formula until it doesn't. The end reveal, a function of the fantastic, is more style over substance. But for whatever reason, it doesn't seem to matter. Firing on all cylinders, Angel Heart is beautifully wrought film with a dose of Rourke authenticity that is hard to replicate. Hail Satan!

Download: 175 Angel Heart

Monday, September 14, 2015

174 2001: A Space Odyssey

Mopping up the Kubrik, Matt and Mark finally get around to reviewing the flawed masterpiece 2001: A Space Odyssey. A film broken up into four vignettes, we go about reviewing it as such. Despite all the big themes of human evolution and questions of mankind's existential crisis in the universe, what 2001 gets right is humanity's relationship with the tools it has created, and how we are now at the whims of those tools, good, bad, and indifferent. So open up the pod bay doors and set the controls for the heart of the sun (cue Pink Floyd... now!).

Download: 174 2001 A Space Odyssey

Tuesday, September 8, 2015

173 Somewhere In Time

Matt and Mark attempt to break out of our cult film review comfort zone this week and review the 1980 sci-fi fantasy romance Somewhere In Time. Trying to go gynocentric, we fail at finding the appeal of this film as it would pertain to the ladies. Centered around a somewhat charmless 36 hour romance more typical of bodice-ripper fair, it becomes an exercise in forced gravitas, leaving the viewer little investment in its time-crossed lovers' tragedy.

Download: 173 Somewhere In Time

Monday, August 31, 2015

172 Under The Skin

This week we get back into the serious and review Jonathan Glazer's enigmatic Under The Skin, starring Hollywood A-lister ScarJo as the alien seductress. More evocative than thematic, its disturbing imagery sticks with you long afterward. Matt attempts to find an analogy for the alien's motivations, but such metaphors may defy what the film was trying to provoke. Perhaps it is best to leave Under The Skin as undecipherable as a street conversation among Scottish Glaswegians.

Download: 172 Under The Skin

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

171 Tim and Eric's Billion Dollar Movie

Matt and Mark's Summer of Funny concludes this week with our review of Tim and Eric's Billion Dollar Movie. T&C's brand of humor isn't for everyone, but if you can handle its mix of stupidity and darkness, there's genuine comedy to be had. While Ebert's write-off of the movie is understandable (0.5 stars), dopey overweight white guys with a healthy disdain for corporate propaganda (no one we know of course) should enjoy this movie more than your average joe film critic.

Download: 171 Tim and Eric's Billion Dollar Movie

Monday, August 17, 2015

170 Up In Smoke

Our penultimate film for the Summer of Funny, this week Matt and Mark review the cult stoner classic Up In Smoke by comedy duo Cheech (Marin) and Tommy (Chong). While stoner humor tends to be one note (or one toke), C&C deliver a nice combo of outrageous characters stirred up with a nice mix of comic timing and physical humor. So head down to your local weed shop (unless you live outside the spliff utopias of Colorado and Washington State), kush out, and take a low ride into the bakey funny.

Download: 170 Up In Smoke  

Monday, August 10, 2015

169 Caddyshack

Odd... no picture of Michael O'Keefe on the poster? Yep, that's correct. All by design. While originally scripted to follow the trials and tribulations of Danny Noonan and the caddies, the five hours of film quickly got whittled down to give the four major comedy players more screen time (Knight, Dangerfield, Murray, Chase). Matt and Mark continue with the "Summer of Funny" by review the one-and-only Caddyshack. If there was a sequel, let us all forget...

Download: 169 Caddyshack

Tuesday, July 28, 2015

168 Strange Brew

A film from the darkest depths of Matt's nostalgia, this week we continue the "Summer of Funny" and review the 1983 comedy Strange Brew. Mark basically tells this film to "take off, eh!" And as Matt dissects the bits, it seems the ghosts of his eleven year old self resurfaces to defend, however meekly. With so few Canadian stereotypes out there (sadly no Red Green blockbuster as of yet), we're left with the brothers McKenzie. So don't be a hoser, crack an Elsinore (or a Labatt's, Moslon, or Kokanee) and check out the film, eh?

Download: 168 Strange Brew

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

167 Young Frankenstien

It's alive! ... alive!!! This week we review the Mel Brooks masterpiece Young Frankenstein starring the great comedic actor Gene Wilder. While a bit averse to slapstick, Matt tries to drink the farcical potion of this comedic retelling aided by Mark's soft sell. A nod to the old timey comedies of the Marx's, it mixes physical comedy with innuendo in an homage that doesn't mock but instead pays homage. And Oh yeah... Mark and Matt both agree that Terry Garr was hot! hot! hot! tsss...

Download: 167 Young Frankenstein

Monday, July 13, 2015

166 Napoleon Dynamite

Apparently it takes an LDS BYU grad to truly get the nerd right when it comes to Hollywood film making. Scrap the stereotypes of the late night hacking (but cool) nerds of standard film fare, because the true nerd is one like Napoleon, social hobbled yet obsessed over things which bring no social currency. One of Matt's favorite funny movies, it's hard to watch ND with a straight face, even if you've seen the film too many times to count. Anyway, Vote for Pedro and enjoy.

Download: 166 Napoleon Dynamite

Monday, July 6, 2015

165 Airplane!

Matt and Mark's "Summer of Funny" rolls on with the 1980 corn-ball classic Airplane! A farcical send up of the 1957 film Zero Hour, Airplane! rolls out its gag like a prop-comic act spinning the figurative into the literal for comedic hilarity. Does it hold up today? More or less, despite the Hari Krishnas at the airport (is that even a thing anymore?) and the strange notion of serving complimentary dinners aboard domestic flights. 

Download: 165 Airplane!

Tuesday, June 30, 2015

164 Smokey and The Bandit

Little did we all know that it was truckers and CB's that pioneered the art of wi-fi and chat rooms back in the day. Smokey and the Bandit introduced America to the adventure/comic-laid world of the big rig trucker and his Southern domains via comedic stylings of legend Jackie Gleason and Burt Reynolds. Matt is disappointed his childhood nostalgia for such fair, infused with hot wheels sandbox antics and pre-pubescent notions of romance, didn't send him back into yesteryear. However, Mark's first viewing left a positive impression. Pop a Coors, sit back, and relax good buddy 10-4.

Download: 164 Smokey and The Bandit

Wednesday, June 10, 2015

163 Zoolander

An Ebert one-star movie, Matt and Mark come across probably one of the famous film critic's worst reviews of all time. Conflating Zoolander's "insensitivity" to the events of 9/11 is probably one of the greatest stretches since the Olympic pole vault record was broken. Regardless, derived from Ben Stiller's hilarious "Ben Stiller Show", Zoolander deftly ties all its sketches in with a fairly consistent and well written story line. So grab a hose of 87 Octane and let the fun begin!

Download:  163 Zoolander

Wednesday, June 3, 2015

162 Real Genius

The nerd stereotype, codified recently by such sitcom fair as Big Ban Theory, is much more nuanced and varied than your typical comic book nerd, as depicted in 1985's classic Real Genius. Chris Knight, Mitch Taylor, and Lazlo Hollyfield portray well thought out three dimensional characters that offer up a tiny comedic slice of the genius mind. While playing loose and fast with technical development cycles for military hardware and procurement timelines, Real Genius makes science coooool!

Download: 162 Real Genius

Thursday, May 28, 2015

161 Monty Python and the Holy Grail

"Not dead yet!!" This week we review the quintessential Monty Python classic Monty Python and the Holy Grail. As opposed to the typical quotes and rehash of scenes, Matt and Mark attempt to rate the top bits from this sketch comedy classic and arrive at the same number one. Can you, dear listener, guess which one? Comedies are always a challenge to review, but unlike Sir Robin, we do not run away!

Download: 161 Monty Python and the Holy Grail

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

160 Get Carter

This week we review the classic British crime film Get Carter released in 1971. A view into the gritty proletariat British underworld, this groundbreaking film dispenses with the flash of previous British efforts, likening itself more to American detective stories. Mark feels its influences may have come full circle however, with directors like Guy Ritchie emulating Get Carter but unfortunately falling into a stylized glammy traps. A classic anti-hero feast, Michael Caine is the definition of the "smooth criminal."

Download: 160 Get Carter 

Tuesday, May 12, 2015

159 Strangers with Candy

This week we review the sketch comedy adaptation Strangers with Candy. A lukewarm response from both Matt and Mark, Matt tries to dissect why 30 minute sketch comedy shows tend to limp into mediocre 90 minute films. It could be that while Amy Sedaris's Jerri Blank is funny for a 10 minute block, stretching this unlikable character to film length becomes challenging. Anyway, Mark has declared this the summer of 'funny', so let this be the vanguard.

Download: 159 Strangers with Candy

Monday, May 4, 2015

158 Red (1994)

This week we review the evocative Krzysztof Kieslowski swan song Red from his Three Colors Trilogy. A universally praised movie, its themes focus on the ideas of chance relationships and redemption. Mark brings up an interesting point however: while the main character is female, her story and character seem to take a back seat. Why? I don't think we'll ever know. A beautiful film of masterful detail, regardless.

Download: 158 Red (1994)

Monday, April 27, 2015

157 The Room

Oh hi! We're back. This week we review Tommy Wiseau's 2003 disasterpiece The Room! Mark brings some back story to the podcast while Matt brings his voice (back). Yes, it's been awhile as a Westeros class winter cold has ruined Matt's voice for much of the past month. Anyway, make sure to go out and catch the MST-3K 2015 release of The Room in a theater near you.

Download: 157 The Room 

Monday, March 30, 2015

156 Das Boot

This week we took a significant portion of our free time and devoted it to watching the 3.5 hour directors cut of Das Boot. Divorced of U.S. war film tropes, Das Boot offers up a depiction of war that combines the psychological with action in a way that forces the watcher to feel the claustrophobia and terror of war at sea. Despite its subject matter, Das Boot is also an exposition on the mechanical wonders of undersea warfare, strangely making it one of Matt's adolescent cult hits.

Download: 156 Das Boot

Monday, March 23, 2015

155 District 9

Matt and Mark review the Oscar nominated District 9! One of the better Sci-Fi films in recent years, the film asks question about our humanity by our reaction to the inhuman. Despite its many plot holes and heavy handed themes, District 9 creates characters you feel invested in (human and alien) and builds a level of tension in its beautiful action sequences. Additional D9 is a technical achievement that uses CGI in way that compliments film making as opposed to detracting from it.

Download: 155 District 9

Monday, March 16, 2015

154 Easy Rider

The ultimate movie of the short lived motorcycle genre, Easy Rider takes the societal outcast counter-culture mythos to a new level. In their road quest, Wyatt and Billy realize they too have fallen prey to the machinery which they seek to rise above. Because in the end, they're just a couple of capitalists working their end of a scheme, man. "We blew it Billy!" A 60's complete with stereotypical flaky hippies and homicidal rednecks, Easy Rider let's you once again fly the tattered freak flag.

Download: 154 Easy Rider

Saturday, March 14, 2015

153 The Birds

Matt has somewhat recovered from his apocalyptic cold, at least enough to mumble about these god damned Birds!! This week we review the Hitchcock classic 'The Birds'. While many have speculated about Hitchcock's greater message with the film, the simplest answer may be the most truthful: filling a town full of maniacal swarming birds just seemed like a bad ass enough premise, right? So, sit down to a nice plate of crow, and enjoy!

Download:  153 The Birds

Sunday, February 22, 2015

152 Dirty Dancing

This week Matt and Mark embark on a voyage of teenage girl wish fulfillment and for our listeners, do not come up empty handed. To be as dismissive of this film as Ebert is would be to do it injustice. Just like elves and trolls are to adolescent boys, Johnny Castle is to adolescent girls. So what if the archetype is implausible? Doesn't matter. Whether it be a teenage vampire, an s&m billionaire, or a dance virtuoso at a blue blood Catskills resort, all that matters is they see Baby in the corner and lament whoever it is that put her there.

Download: 152 Dirty Dancing

Monday, February 16, 2015

151 The Raid: Redemption

A film of choreography, physical expression, and near musical rhythm, The Raid: Redemption serves up kung fu style violence as a Bollywood film serves up its musical numbers. This not a film about violence, don't make that mistake, this is a film whose medium is violence. There's really no morality tale, despite the title. So if you're craving a blitz of gonzo chop socky, The Raid Redemption is for you!

Download: 151 The Raid: Redemption

Monday, February 2, 2015

150 Zardoz

We were going to get around to discussing Zardoz sooner or later, and now is the time! Matt and Mark review this most awesome Boorman cult classic and wade deep into the questions its Sci-Fi world creates. Zardoz plays wit the idea of utopia and immortality in a way that makes us question humanity's relationship with the death. What is life without death? So boring you'll pray for the sweat death, apparently, even if meted out by a gang of mankini wearing Brutals from the Outlands.

Download: 150 Zardoz

Sunday, January 25, 2015

149 Beetlejuice

This week Matt and Mark review the Tim Burton breakout Beetlejuice, a surreal ghost story that explores the mechanics and absurdest bureaucracy of being dead. A showcase for Burton's imaginative film making, many dismissed the film as gag-driven and style-over-substance (including a one R.Ebert). Matt and Mark disagree. To make work, even awkwardly, some of Beetlejuice's bizarre spectacle is to succeed. Must we regurgitate Dante every time we conjure the afterlife? The answer is "Betelgeuse, Betelgeuse, Betelgeuse".

Download: 149 Beetlejuice

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

148 Buckaroo Banzai

This week we tackle the beloved Buckaroo Banzai on The Cult of Matt and Mark. Unarmed with its plentiful quotes and sound drops, Matt feels we may have let the fanboys down on this one. Mark however takes a more measured and less apologetic approach. Just because Banzai might not occupy your childhood nostalgia, does not mean this fecund space farce's Tolkien-esque mythology cannot be respected and enjoyed. So monkey boys, head into the way-back machine and enjoy the 80's pop-rock stylings of the Hong Kong Cavaliers.

Download: 148 Buckaroo Banzai

Sunday, January 11, 2015

147 Legend

Matt battles the forces of nostalgia to defend the honor of Legend against the mediocre reviews it received at the time, while Mark debates the Lili characters quest-worth. Ridley Scott's Legend is an astounding visual feast the brings to bear the best of the pre-CGI era practical effects. Intended to be a 'live action' Disney-like film ala Snow White, it succeeds. However, its ability to craft like-able characters in its heightened landscapes falls short. But one thing we can all agree on is that the teenage Mia Sara lit the fires of many proto-goth boys back in the 1980s with her black lipstick moodiness.

Download:  147 Legend

Monday, January 5, 2015

146 Top Gun

This week we review the Tim Robbins classic Top Gun (yes, Tim Robbins was in Top Gun!... Merlin?... check the credits!) on The Cult of Matt and Mark. A cultural phenomena that encouraged thousands of young men to serve aboard aircraft carriers performing duties far less awesome than flying an F-14 Tomcat. Matt and Mark are of Ebert's opinion on this one, when in flight Top Gun soars, when on the ground, the film crashes and burns. So take a ride in to the danger zone of Cold War era machismo and enjoy.

Download: 146 Top Gun